The Asphyx (1972)

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The Asphyx (1972)

Post  BoG on Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:33 pm




directed by PETER NEWBROOK  --  Cinematographer:FREDDIE YOUNG
This film, which I first viewed many years ago on TV, came into being due to the decline of the once-popular Hammer films. Smaller studios, attempting to fill some gap left by Hammer, stepped in with their own films. Most were not successful financially, including this one - unfortunately. This is a unique little sci-fi/horror film, with compelling themes, excellent performances and strong science fiction elements in the Frankenstein mold. The main character (Robert Stephens) is not an evil man; in fact, he's something of a benefactor - his aim is to help mankind, to improve the human condition. He's driven by personal tragedy and, of course, goes too far - way too far.

The problem is that he's a scientist and scientists (like Dr. Frankenstein) are compelled to find answers and solutions, the types of which the rest of us may not want to bother with. He, along with his adopted son (Robert Powell) steadily descend into their own private hell - the situation becomes worse & worse as the film progresses and we, the audience, are transfixed, unable to turn away from the escalating horror of science...misused? abused? overused? - you decide as you watch. I believe this is the best and most difficult to do type of sci-fi/horror - not physical monsters attacking but the personal descent of a mind, a brilliant mind, in this case. The horror is very personal and, as a result, tragic.
I think I'll not reveal any details of plot and story. Usually, I go into some detail in my posts, at least for the first half of the plot for each film I post for, thinking that  members have seen the film in question anyway or have heard a lot about it. I suppose that's not the case here. It is worth the wait - you wonder as the film progresses, what the next step (or misstep) by the characters will be; it's absorbing storytelling. A 25th-anniversary DVD of this film was released when DVDs were in their infancy, way back in early 1998.   BoG's Score: 7.5 out of 10
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